Thursday, December 29, 2005

Seattle Public Library LibraryLookup bookmarklet

I fixed up a LibraryLookup bookmarklet for Seattle Public Library so it works correctly.

Just drag this link into your browser's shortcut/link/bookmark toolbar:

Lookup at SPL

I'll let Jon Udell, the LibraryLookup originator, explain what a LibraryLookup bookmarklet is for and how you use it.

"If your local public (or college) library uses one of the online catalog systems listed here, you may be able to create a bookmarklet that will help you look up books in your library.

After you've 'installed' your bookmarklet by dragging it to your browser's link toolbar, you can use it to look up books at your local library. Let's say you're on a book-related site (Amazon, BN,, All Consuming, possibly others), and a book's info page is your current page. (Specifically: its URL contains an ISBN. Choose a hardcover edition for best results -- see tips below.) You can click your bookmarklet to check if the book is available in your local library. The bookmarklet will invoke your library's lookup service, feed it the ISBN, and pop up a new window with the result."

There is a bookmarklet for Seattle Public Library on Jon's site, but I think a backend change at SPL broke it. If you try to use that one, you will get the following error from the SPL website: "Sorry, unable to execute search Shortcut was not found. Aspect = ISBN".

I just hacked the URL to change ISBN to ISBNEX, which makes it all work hunky-dory. To be precise, I changed this:


to this:


Thanks to Jon Udell for this in the first place, and to Finn for prodding me to finally figure out why it was broken. And three cheers for public libraries!

Browser compatibility:

Firefox 1.5 on Mac & Win: works.

IE7 on Vista Dec CTP (5270): works, but you may need to adjust security settings to add it to your link toolbar to drag and drop it to your links toolbar - try adding this website to the trusted sites list, or maybe add the bookmark by right-clicking.

Safari: doesn't work. Does not spawn a new window to execute & display the SPL search. Leave a hint in comments if you figure out why not, maybe related to the window open command?

Friday, December 09, 2005

IE7 gets Googled

Using IE7 in Vista build 5321, I went to Google. And what does Google offer me but an IE7-specific update to change the default search engine?

Funny. Google's certainly not waiting for Vista to ship.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Virtual PC Express for SA - and its use in the enterprise for Vista testing

So - Virtual PC Express is going to be "free" for Microsoft's large customers. That is, if they have Software Assurance - in other words, pay Microsoft a boatload of money annually for, fundamentally, upgrade rights.

(Of course, VMware's VM Player is free, too - all you need is a copy of VMware Workstation to create the VM - and what client IT pro doesn't have that? Or can't just download a 30-day fully working trial version?)

On to my real point.

Some folks on the Vista / Virtual PC Express teams need to write up a step-by-step "Here's how to create a VPC VM of Vista Beta 2/insert latest stable build here set up exactly as you'd want so you can hand copies around to people in your company for testing/early checking out in a portable sandbox environment."

I'd be happy to talk to you (and blog further) about what enterprise customers need here.

Friday, December 02, 2005

ssh for Vista: Yes, please!

From the 11/29 Vista Beta chat:

Q: Are there any plans to incorporate SSH? Telnet is ancient, archaic and
provides little security. While we still need it to talk to our hardware
devices, soemthing secure like SSH would be very helpful.

A: Gawain [MS] (Expert): We have an active issue on improving telnet /
adding ssh, so I know the development team is aware of it.

Vista dev team: Please do include ssh in Vista.

It's insane that Windows is the only OS still under active development which does not include ssh in a standard distribution. I say this as a professional whose job is Windows in the enterprise.

Same thing applies for sftp, too.

I won't go through the reasons why secure alternatives to completely insecure but common tools (telnet, ftp) should be available by default; if you need a lesson give Steve Riley or Jasper Johansen a call.

Microsofties, if you need an enterprise customer to weigh in on this to get the feature to make the cut, comment on my blog and I'll get in touch.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Amazon has tags!

I know I haven't been keeping up on my surfing, but I was surprised when I was on and saw a little "tag this" text entry box next to an item description. Sure enough, Amazon is getting into social tagging. Kewl...

Tags: By default, everyone can see your tags. Your tags will help others find interesting products, and likewise you can see how other customers have tagged products. For example, suppose a book is tagged 'Philosophy'. By clicking on that tag, you can see what other products customers have tagged 'Philosophy', and you can see what other tags people who use the 'Philosophy' tag use. As you navigate using tags, you will find more and more interesting products, as collectively organized by other Amazon customers.

Friday, November 04, 2005

New Poll: Majority of Americans Support Impeachment

"New Poll Shows Majority of Americans Support Impeachment;
ImpeachPAC is Launched to Support Pro-Impeachment Candidates

By a margin of 53% to 42%, Americans want Congress to impeach President Bush if he lied about the war in Iraq, according to a new poll commissioned by, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

The poll was conducted by Zogby International, the highly-regarded non-partisan polling company. The poll interviewed 1,200 U.S. adults from October 29 through November 2.

The poll found that 53% agreed with the statement:

'If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment.'

42% disagreed, and 5% said they didn't know or declined to answer. The poll has a +/- 2.9% margin of error."

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Baby BZ

They're having a baby!

Don't know. Won't know until Feb 27, 2006, give or take a few days...

Friday, October 07, 2005

NewsGator - NetNewsWire Q&A with Brent and Greg

Good Q&A. This one illustrates one of the reasons why I'm so excited about this. The other big reason is that all their clients have really good user experiences & interfaces. They're a pleasure to use.

NewsGator - NetNewsWire: "Q: Will I be able to use NetNewsWire in one place, FeedDemon in another, NewsGator Outlook edition in another — and still be able to use NewsGator Online when I’m at my mom’s house?

Brent: Yes! That’s the beauty of the NewsGator platform, and one of the things that really drew me to the company. You can use any NewsGator product, at any place, on any device, and they will all synchronize content so you don’t have to read the same stuff twice. So use Outlook at work, NetNewsWire at home, FeedDemon on your laptop, NewsGator Mobile edition on your phone, and NewsGator Online at your mom’s house."

NewsGator acquires NetNewsWire!

Holy smokes!

October 4, 2005 – NewsGator Technologies, Inc., the leading RSS platform company, announced today that it has acquired NetNewsWire, the leading RSS reader for Mac OS X. NewsGator also announced that NetNewsWire will integrate tightly with the NewsGator Online synchronization platform. Brent Simmons, the creator of NetNewsWire, will be joining the NewsGator team as a product architect.

The NewsGator Online platform provides a highly integrated and synchronized reading/viewing experience across multiple devices, including the web, mobile phones, televisions, and e-mail clients such as Microsoft Outlook. The recent FeedDemon acquisition extended this to the Windows desktop, and now with NetNewsWire, the premier RSS reader for Mac OS X, the platform extends to the Mac desktop as well.">NewsGator - News Archive: "October 4, 2005 – NewsGator Technologies, Inc., the leading RSS platform company, announced today that it has acquired NetNewsWire, the leading RSS reader for Mac OS X. NewsGator also announced that NetNewsWire will integrate tightly with the NewsGator Online synchronization platform. Brent Simmons, the creator of NetNewsWire, will be joining the NewsGator team as a product architect.

The NewsGator Online platform provides a highly integrated and synchronized reading/viewing experience across multiple devices, including the web, mobile phones, televisions, and e-mail clients such as Microsoft Outlook. The recent FeedDemon acquisition extended this to the Windows desktop, and now with NetNewsWire, the premier RSS reader for Mac OS X, the platform extends to the Mac desktop as well."

This is fantastic news! The best two newsreaders (I've said so before, look it up) are now joined at the hip and will cross-sync!!!!

They have won me over completely, I am now a full on netnewswire/newsgator (web only right now) and I'm going to add outlook and look forward to adding a wireless mobile device too. Sweeeeeet! RSS nirvana...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

KEXP 90.3 FM - where the music matters

KEXP 90.3 FM - where the music matters: "Listen to any KEXP program when you want it. KEXP's one of a kind Streaming Archive allows you to hear anything from the past 2 weeks in both Windows Media and Real format. "

Monday, September 26, 2005

Friday, September 23, 2005

Alan Cox (yeah, the #2 Linux guy after Linus) talks about how to avoid software bugs

This is from an old email to myself from 2004.

From the point of view of a developer but this is very easily translatable into the client infrastructure management world.

Does a pretty good job of expressing why I'm so keen to get a QA person. Makes me realize we should probably try to budget for some tools for the QA person to use -- though I think there is a very high likelihood that the best such tools are open source or free as in beer.

Side note: it seems to me that the challenges faced by our distributed extended group are similar to those of multiple code contributors to open source and other collaborative programming projects. Now, those folks have been able to work out some tools and processes for making that endeavor work fairly well. It may be the case that I spend some time next year looking into technologies that could help our extd team work better together -- things like using a Groove workspace (or sharepoint, or RSS, or Live Comm Srvr, or jabber, or whatever) to open up a more informal venue for virtual water cooler conversations. I know I am far closer to [one guy at work who is based in Europe] than to anyone else in EU or AP and the real reason for this is that we are both on IM.

I'd like to make it possible to have that sort of interaction -- and then some -- with anyone who's interested. I expect that 90% of people will have 10% of the contributions, but each of those individual contributions will probably be very important for those people who just say one or two things, and no less likely to be valuable information or suggestions.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Remember this story? 60 Minutes found it.

Remember this bit?

60 Minutes had a segment on it tonight. I missed it but found a transcript on the 60 Minutes website.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

"I want to be sort of an archaeologist..."

Zeb says: "Momma, I want to be sort of an archaeologist -- but not quite an archaeologist -- when I grow up."

Melissa: "Oh? Why?"

Zeb: "Because I want to learn everything about everything -- so that I can teach other people about things they want to know about."

Friday, September 02, 2005

Rhapsody's not working for me on Longhorn Beta 1

Hence the interest in Indy. (See previous post.)

"Indy is a music discovery program that learns what you like, and plays more of it. And it's free."

Indy.TV says this about itself:

Indy is a music discovery program that learns what you like, and plays more of it. And it's free.

Indy makes it easy for you to find great new independent music. Just download Indy and double-click: as it plays songs, you rate what you hear. Indy quickly learns what you like and gets really smart about sending you more music you'll like. Let Indy help you find your place in the collective consciousness as you help other people find theirs.

TidBITS had a good write-up on Indy that piqued my interest - including this:

What's particularly cool about Indy is that it's not attempting to maintain a centralized archive of songs, nor should it in any way run afoul of the jack-booted thugs of the recording industry. That's because, as I noted earlier, all the music is submitted by copyright holders, and because it's served directly from the artists' sites. In other words, Indy is a completely legal front end for discovering music you're likely to enjoy from all around the Web. At the moment, Indy knows about 10,000 songs, which should keep you busy for quite some time.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Manually launch product activation in beta 1

You can manually invoke the Windows Product Activation wizard by running the "licenseui" command.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Resume from standby not so snappy in Vista Beta 1

It takes disappointingly long to resume from standby. (512mb Athlon XP 2600+ on an Asus A7N8X nforce2 mobo w/Ti4600 video.

(Sadly that card is not on the supported list for the nVidia Vista Beta 1 beta drivers v75.03.)

"You have version 6.0"

My first Longhorn crash

Open letter to Microsoft and Macrovision re: MSI's and other installation packages

Hello Microsoft and Macrovision -- especially you OneClick, WindowsInstaller, and InstallShield people out there. I'm the guy who makes the calls on both of your products at one of your corporate customers.

I want a tool I can run on an existing package which I attest works perfectly on XP SP2 (or better yet, W2k SP4). The tool will tell me whether or not this package will install correctly on Longhorn. Better, it will tell me whether the application will function as intended. Better still it will tell me what configuration changes need to be made, whether to the client or the OS config. (Would it be too much to ask that these changes can be automatically implmented, outputting a new package that includes them all? Oh, and if you're going to automate it, you'll use, and allow an optional export of, an XML manifest with a published schema, right?) Thanks!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Kottke nails it

Again, the lazyweb comes to the rescue and saves me from having to write this post myself. Thanks Senor Kottke!

Before we get going, here are some alternate titles for this post, just to give you an idea of what I'm trying to get at before I actually, you know, get at it:

* You're probably wondering why Yahoo bought Konfabulator
* An update on Google Browser, GooOS and Google Desktop
* A platform that everyone can stand on and why Apple, Microsoft, and, yes, even Google will have to change their ways to be a part of it
* The next killer app: desktop Web servers
* Does the Mozilla Foundation have the vision to make Firefox the most important piece of software of this decade?
* Web 3.0
* Finally, the end of Microsoft's operating system dominance

Now that your hyperbole meter has pegged a few times, hopefully the rest of this will seem tame in comparison. (And apologies for the length...I got rolling and, oops, 2500 words. But many of them are small so...)

I know that I am loving having my stuff live "in the cloud". Getting the cloud available offline would be huge.

However there's much, much, much to be done before the cloud can be accessed reasonably from a hand-sized device.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Vista beta 1 install on VMware 5: Vista setup won't format the drive

When you try to install Vista B1 on a fresh VMware machine, Vista setup cannot successfully format the drive. This is a special case of an issue documetned in teh release notes, that Vista setup cannot install to what MS calls a "RAW" partition. Of course "RAW" is not some special filesystem analagous to FAT or NTFS, but simply an unpartitioned, unformatted volume.

In the VMware forums, "Wolfschadoe" provides this workaround, which worked for me, too:

This fix works reliably for me:
1. Initial Vista install boot, at drive selection, delete the partition and recreate it. Still can't format at this point.
2. Reset the VM.
3. Now VM tries to boot from Network, bypassing CD and HDD boot. Press ESC for a boot menu. [Note from Doofusdan: Wolfschadoe had an extra, unnecessary reset in this step - I removed it here.]
4. Select CD drive to boot from menu.
5. At drive selection in Vista startup, select the proper partition and hit next. (it should be available).
6. Setup continues normally. Enjoy.

Better Living Through Software - Book Review: Saving the Appearances

"I hadn't heard of Owen Barfield before last month. Based on an interesting quote and a recommendation that he has a 'unique epistemology', I picked up a copy of 'Saving the Appearances', and just finished reading it.

It turns out the book isn't really an epistomology, but rather a treatise on the author's opinions about the evolution of consciousness, and his thesis that the scientific revolution has left modern man with some largely unrecognized gaps in consciousness with relation to his environment.

This ended up being one of the best books I've read in a really long time. It deeply intertwines three of my favorite themes: Korzybski's map/territory distinction, Ghazali's reason versus faith debate, and Knowledge Representation. Barfield is incredibly erudite; pulling material from scores of sources and building some surprising and wickedly sharp arguments. Even when you find cracks in his arguments, you find that the intellectual ride is enjoyable."

There's more, worth a read if you're still interested. This one goes on my wishlist....

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Waterboys: Fisherman's Blues

Why has it taken me this long to realize that Karl Wallinger was in The Waterboys? Why has it taken me this long to listen to a full Waterboys album? Why didn't I know that the name of Karl Wallinger's new band = the name of the third song on this fantastic album from his previous band?

The Waterboys: Fisherman's Blues:
1. Fisherman's Blues - The Waterboys
2. When Will We Be Married? - The Waterboys
3. World Party - The Waterboys
4. Sweet Thing - The Waterboys
5. And A Bang On The Ear - The Waterboys
6. We Will Not Be Lovers - The Waterboys
7. The Stolen Child - The Waterboys
8. Strange Boat - The Waterboys
9. Jimmy Hickey's Waltz - The Waterboys
10. Has Anybody Here Seen Hank? - The Waterboys
11. When Ye Go Away - The Waterboys
12. Dunford's Fancy - The Waterboys"

Oasis - Meaning of Soul

Oasis - Meaning of Soul: "This song from their new album is very Oasisish, if you like that sort of thing. (I do when I'm in the right mood.)"

Umm, the blogging functionality from Rhapsody does not seem to be working quite right for me now. Use the frickin' search function. No, actually, don't - that song is not worth the extra effort.

--Mike--: Windows Apocalypse Now - Version 0.01 (Verbose!)

So, here it is in Mid-2005, we've got a continous stream of system patches, and a continous stream of virus definitions, most of our spam is gone, and we're behind a continously updated firewall.
However, I'm not happy. In fact, I'm starting to get very worried. The chinks in the armor are showing up.

Yup. Me too, Mike.

I've been thinking a lot about automated testing, inspired by agile programming's test-first development methods and continuous testing a la junit or ant.

--Mike--: Windows Apocalypse Now - Version 0.01 (Verbose!)

--Mike--: Windows Apocalypse Now - Version 0.01 (Verbose!): "So, here it is in Mid-2005, we've got a continous stream of system patches, and a continous stream of virus definitions, most of our spam is gone, and we're behind a continously updated firewall."

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Catan Online is online!

Catan Online - Official Home Page:
"August 11, 2005: Catan Online is... ONLINE!
It's official: at noon today, Pacific time, MSN Games launched the finished version of Catan Online. It's time to play!"

Oh, dearie me. This could be trouble for Danny boy.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Metasploit Framework

One of the infosec guys at work mentioned the Metasploit Framework as we were discussing the exploit code circulating for MS05-039 and MS05-043. Yikes, that's scary! I'd seen earlier generations of tools like this, but this really is a huge advance in power & ease of use. It's gotten a hell of a lot easier to hack Windows than it used to be...

If you're feeling in the mood from some security surfing, these were a few interesting related sites & articles to read.

Good editorial about metasploit.

Pop computing piece but decent "1 page to read".
Includes this quote from one of the authors of metasploit:

MetaSploit is as easy as "point, click, root," Spoonm said during the presentation. It may not be as simple as the presenters suggest, but MetaSploit does enable people to use and customize the tool as they see fit. Spoonm said that the tool has been downloaded roughly 20,000 times.

The Metasploit presentation from blackhat 2005 (pdf):

Walkthrough of the most basic features (slightly dated).

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Zeb's counting thing

Mel reports: Zeb is counting to himself in another room. After a while, he joins me and says, "I don't know if you noticed, but I'm counting a lot today."
I said, "oh, yeah? Why is that?"
He replies, "I'm counting a lot because I'm trying to get better. I'm
practicing counting because I want to learn."

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Tracks magazine is no more...

Tracks magazine was a short-lived but excellent music magazine, the closest I've seen to a replacement for the late & lamented Musician magazine.

But Tracks lives on in a website.

They even have a podcast! Sweet!

And they've been acquired by Paste magazine, which is the other good new music magazine that exists these days...

Wil Wheaton

Wil Wheaton has a funny conversation...

On Friday, Anne and I had the following exchange:

Anne: 'Nolan's friend is in the little league all-star tournament, and Nolan's going to watch him tonight.'

Me: 'Uh-huh.'

Anne: 'Depending on what happens in tonight's game, his friend's team may be playing tomorrow —'

Me: 'Is it a round robin, or something?'

Anne: 'It's not like a poker tournament, where you get eliminated on the first day and then you're out.'

Me: *silence*

Anne: 'Oh, wait. I mean, not you, like you, Wil, my husband . . .'

Me: ' . . . who can't make it past the first day of a tournament . . . '

Anne: 'No! That's not what I mean. I just meant that it's not single-elimination, and . . . poker . . . baseball . . . one . . . tournament . . .'

At this point I started laughing so hard I had to stop and compose myself.

Me: 'I know what you mean. That was awesome.'

Anne: 'This is going on your blog, isn't it?'

Me: 'Yes. Yes it is.'

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hey, I like Visqueen!

I guess it's not too surprising that someone who grooves on Voice of the Beehive and Bettie Serveet would like Visqueen.

Royksopp has a new album

How about them apples?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Eye - Smashing Pumpkins

I never really listened to Smashing Pumpkins. Nothing against 'em, it's just I realized a long time ago that there is way too much good music in the world for me to be able to listen to it all, and Smashing Pumpkins seemed to have a good shot at falling into that category.

This tune I like just because it sounds like it should be the music that we're listening to when Trouble and Her Friends comes true.

A nice quiet Jack Johnson tune...

...with that smooth-rolling voice & finger-pickin' guitar.

'No Other Way' - Jack Johnson from the album In Between Dreams."

John Hiatt has never sounded more like Elvis...

...Attractions-era Elvis Costello, that is. He even ends the song's fade-out by shouting quotes from 'Everyday I write the Book'


From Glenn Philips, formerly of Toad the Wet Sprocket. As great as some of that band's beautiful melancholy (like Come Back Down - Toad The Wet Sprocket)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Web-based RSS aggregators + two great tastes that...

This was a response to an email thread on a mailing list I'm on... but it's come up enough that I should blog it so I don't have to keep typing it over and over again.

There are also a number of web-based RSS readers, aka aggregators. There are numerous benefits to using a web-based aggregator, one being that you can read your feeds from any computer and read/unread status for messages (and your subscriptions for that matter) will always be current. I highly recommend checking out that approach, particularly if you have multiple computers you surf from (eg, home, work, etc). And since they’ll all (AFAIK) import and export an OPML list of your subscribed feeds, switching from one to the other for test drive purposes is pretty painless.

Bloglines is AFAIK the first web RSS aggregator. – I have occasional problems with it where it does not refresh properly and shows me pages full of javascript, or displays only articles from 6 months ago in certain feeds. Might be my account is messed up as I haven’t heard other people have this problem. NetNewsWire Pro - OS X only, sorry Windows & Linux users - can sync with Bloglines.

Newsgator is doing some very cool stuff, in addition to the web version, they have an Outlook plug-in that syncs with the web reader. They have also partnered up with Feeddemon for a full desktop client that also syncs up. I believe there’s a mobile version, too. The web-only version is free; the Outlook plug-in can be demo’d but you need to pay eventually. For many people, especially those who spend lots of time on MS platforms, I think that Newsgator should probably be the first candidate you evaluate for web-based aggregator.

C’Net has a very polished looking one called Newsburst.

Rojo is getting some good buzz lately.

Of course Firefox itself has RSS capabilities and there are tons of RSS extensions for Firefox, but keep in mind that browser-based != web-based.

Safari also does RSS.

And in case any of you are living under a rock, IE 7 will have RSS support; Longhorn will have even more.

I’ve also found that combining web-based "social bookmarking" with a web-based aggregator is a great way to bookmark those links you spot while surfing at home that you want to follow up on later at work; I particulary appreciate being able to annotate each link with some extra text, or a key sentence or two from the page instead of just having to rely on the page title. You can also type in extra ‘tags’ to label what category(ies) a bookmark falls into. As an extra bonus, if you’ve found a bunch of links on a topic and you want to share them with a co-worker etc, it’s as simple as giving them your URL for that tag. For example, here are my links on LUA (least-user-access aka least privilege):

To bring this full-circle back to RSS: any tag bookmark has its own RSS feed. Here’s the RSS feed for ALL users’ bookmarks (remember that "social bookmarking" thing?This is what I'm talking about) that are tagged with “Longhorn”: - if you aren’t up on RSS yet and just want to see the HTML version, here it is:

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Daniel Lanois - Belladonna

Daniel finally makes the solo album I've been waiting for him to make (though Acadie is wonderful in a totally different way). Belladonna is entirely instrumental, heavily guitar-oriented, lush, and kinda spooky sounding.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Debate intensifies over Hot Coffee sex in GTA - PC News at GameSpot

"The retail release of the game does allow for the game's protagonist, CJ, to indulge in blatantly sexual activity with his girlfriends--any in-game activity of that sort takes place behind closed doors and is merely accompanied by suggestive sounds. The Hot Coffee mod lets gamers into the bedroom to watch CJ get in flagrante delicto with a lady and even have control over the participants' actions.

Wildenborg insists that the X-rated code is already in the game and that all his patch does is bypass the game's 'censor flags.'"

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.... hee hee hee...

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Some songs for Melissa to listen to on the Roku...

Full albums - newish stuff from Van Morrisson, BoDeans, Beck, Ben Folds, and Jack Johnson.

Eels' Blinking Lights

Eels new album Blinking Lights is a fantastic double-disc concept album. (Ok, I own the two CD's; I don't know if it's a "double-disc" concept album if you're just streaming it from Rhapsody.)

Just check out the song titles. With any luck that'll be enough to get you sucked in. I listened to the whole thing while catching up on an overdue lawnmowing this weekend (yardwork + iPod + noise-canceling-headphones = quality listening time). Good way to experience it.

1. Theme From Blinking Lights - Eels
2. From Which I Came / A Magic World - Eels
3. Son Of A Bitch - Eels
4. Blinking Lights (For Me) - Eels
5. Trouble With Dreams - Eels
6. Marie Floating Over The Backyard - Eels
7. Suicide Life - Eels
8. In The Yard, Behind The Church - Eels
9. Railroad Man - Eels
10. The Other Shoe - Eels
11. Last Time We Spoke - Eels
12. Mother Mary - Eels
13. Going Fetal - Eels
14. Understanding Salesman - Eels
15. Theme For A Pretty Girl That Makes You Believe God Exists - Eels
16. Checkout Blues - Eels
17. Blinking Lights (For You) - Eels
18. Dust Of Ages - Eels
19. Old Shit / New Shit - Eels
20. Bride of Theme From Blinking Lights - Eels
21. Hey Man (Now You're Really Living) - Eels
22. I'm Going To Stop Pretending That I Didn't Break Your Heart - Eels
23. To Lick Your Boots - Eels
24. If You See Natalie - Eels
25. Sweet Li'l Thing - Eels
26. A Peach In The Orchard - Eels
27. Whatever Happened To Soy Bomb - Eels
28. Ugly Love - Eels
29. God's Silence - Eels
30. Losing Streak - Eels
31. Last Days Of My Bitter Heart - Eels
32. The Stars Shine In The Sky Tonight - Eels
33. Things The Grandchildren Should Know - Eels Parkinson's drug gains evidence

"Five years ago, the first patients to receive GDNF were enrolled in a study at the Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, England. In December, a 62-year-old patient in the study died of a heart attack, which provided an opportunity to see whether the medicine had done its job in the brain. In life, the patient had noted dramatic improvements, the British scientists said. A brain autopsy showed the experimental treatment 'caused regrowth of the nerve fibers lost in the disease.' The study was conducted by Frenchay's Dr. Steven Gill and Seth Love of Bristol University."
Amgen's official statement on halting GDNF study for Parkinson's

On the one hand, this is exactly what you'd want a drug company to do as soon as indications came up from studies that there may be a fatal safety issue with a drug.

On the other hand, it's a very sad situation, especially tragic for the people who personally feel that they are willing to take the risks with fully informed consent, both for themselves and for hopes of developing a treatment for Parkinson's disease.

Very sad. I'm going to be keeping a close eye on this one.

Amgen had clinical trials of a drug that appeared to have fantastic results undoing the effects of Parkinson's. The trials were stopped after animal safety studies showed that in some cases the drug could cause brain damage and death.

But the patients who were seeing life-altering results from the drug are understandably both devastated and angry that Amgen won't provide any more of it at any price.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Tomorrow I'll have my Roku Soundbridge M1000! Whee!

Here are my Roku links.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Brian Eno ambient sampler: "Brian Eno's ambient stuff is just what I was looking for. "
BlogThis is a must-have for anyone who has both Firefox and a account. Go get it now, thank me later.

What's it do? Ok, I'll tell ya. Right-click anywhere on any page in firefox and select "BlogThis" and it opens up a little blogger window with the link pre-populated.

Very similar to the Rhapsody feature, only without the bugs.
I have a account. You should get one too!
This song will probably make Bach smile.: "1. Chinito Chinito - Ry Cooder"

Monday, July 04, 2005

RSS and Attention
from Nick BradburyLink

And that's what I'm asking you to blog about (or, if you don't have a blog, comment here). If you believe that you should own your attention data, now is the time to sound off about it. You don't need to link to me or even mention me in your blog - just make sure to include "RSS and Attention" in your entry's title so that everyone who pays attention to this subject (ie: Microsoft, Google, myself, etc.) can find you. I'm taking Microsoft at their word that they'll listen to the conversation while designing their RSS support, so let's test them on this.


(This is not the first time I've mentioned Attention!)

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Teenage Fanclub - Grand Prix: "Why have I never heard this album before? I even owned a few other Teenage Fanclub albums at college and liked them, but they didn't really grab me.

Of course the title of this album, and the cover photo of an F1 car, don't hurt. :-)

Great melodic power pop/rock, like Big Star."

MSNBC Analyst Says Cooper Documents Reveal Karl Rove as Source in Plame Case


Not that it'd be a surprise, if true, that Rove was behind this. But shocking that he finally might get caught at one of his dirty tricks.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Sonho Dourado - Daniel Lanois: "The uber-producer has a typically tasty, atmospheric guitar-based instrumental here."

Friday, June 17, 2005

Hey Ryan - Wil Wheaton's talking about poker again, with some promising-sounding links for ya.

(Via Wil Wheaton.)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Rhapsody playlist: I really like this song.: "1. Nothing But The Sky - Ivy"

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Rhapsody: Come Inside reminds me of White Lines
1. White Lines (Don't Do It) - Grandmaster & Melle Mel
2. Come Inside - The Chemical Brothers
3. White Lines - Duran Duran

It's all about the bass line. It's always all about the bass line.

And I do enjoy the Duran Duran cover. It's from their cover album, Thank You, which is probably my favorite DD album.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The mysteries of the universe...

...are not mysteries.

They are writ plain for all to see

if only they would open their eyes

and understand.

Friday, June 10, 2005

IT folks don't blog, eh?

Sure we do. We just don't advertise our employers, or even necessarily blog about IT. Some of us have lives, you know....

Monday, June 06, 2005

MarsEdit 1.0

First post with MarsEdit.

Ranchero Software: MarsEdit 1.0
MarsEdit is a weblog editor for Mac OS X that makes weblog writing like writing email—with spell-checking, drafts, multiple windows, and even AppleScript support.

It works with various weblog systems: Blosxom, Conversant, Manila, Movable Type, Radio UserLand, TypePad, WordPress, and others.

It's from the creator of NetNewsWire, which continues its streak as best RSS reader in the world. (If you're stuck on Windows, I suggest checking out Newsgator and Feedburner.)

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Rhapsody Playlist: For the Kids - VA

Cake doing Mahna Mahna is great. I haven't even heard the rest yet.
1. Mahna Mahna - Cake
2. La La La La Lemon - Barenaked Ladies
3. The Rainbow Connection - Sarah McLachlan
4. I've Got To Be Clean - Guster
5. Wonderwheel - Dan Zanes
6. Have A Little Fun With Me - Glen Phillips
7. The Hoppity Song - John Ondrasik of Five For Fighting
8. It's All Right To Cry - Darius Rucker
9. Sing - Ivy
10. Willie The King - Dan Wilson
11. Snow Day - Bleu
12. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk
13. Goodnight Children Everywhere - Sixpence None The Richer
14. Bend Down The Branches - Tom Waits
Mac on Intel

The big thing to watch for is not whether Apple is going to start using Intel (and/or AMD) CPUs; it is whether Macs will continue to require Apple ROMs or other components that are not going to be available to 3rd parties (either other system builders or hobbyists).

My 2cents? Steve is not going to allow clones. They tried that once before, and one of the first things Jobs did upon returning to Apple was to kill the clones.

They might be able to pull it off - allow 3rd parties to make systems that run OS X, but compete on the basis of killer hardware. But I doubt Apple is constitutionally capable of going there.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Rhapsody: Neko Case "Hex" from The Tigers Have Spoken: Wow, that's good stuff. Why exactly do I not have a ton of Neko's stuff to listen to? I guess I do now thanks to Rhapsody. Despite myself I'm really liking the music-as-subscription concept, especially at current pricing. There's no way that $10/mo on Rhapsody is not a good deal if you buy even 1 CD a month.

If only it worked:
- on my Macs
- on my iPod
- or on my PSP

As it is, I think I need to get a Roku Soundbridge just so I can get Rhapsody in the living room or bedroom.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Rhapsody playlist: Gorillaz' new Demon Days album: "It's the new Gorillaz album, dude. (Mainly this is a test post from Rhapsody 3.0 to the blog...)"

Monday, May 30, 2005

Cheapshot on Lionel

Evil Dave must've posted today - normally he's much more of a decent guy, but this was quite a cheapshot against Lionel Richie.
I was flipping channels last night and caught a profile of R&B star Lionel Richie, talking about what it's like to write a song. He says sometimes he's searching for the line that ties all the elements of a song together, he could be searching for weeks, and then it hits him like a thunderbolt -- boom -- mind bomb, that's it, and he can move on to the next project.
So far so good! But then:
Then I wondered if he actually wrote the songs, was he describing what it's like to have an idea, or what he thought it would be like if he ever actually had one. I have no idea if Richie is a creative guy or if he pays people to be creative, or if he rips people off and says their creativity is his without paying.
Geez, would that have taken 30 seconds to Google, Dave? Here you go: Lionel Richie songwriter. Then you'd know he's written "3 times a lady" and "Still" (The Commodores), "Lady" (Kenny Rodgers), "Say You, Say Me" "Dancing on the Ceiling" "All Night Long" "Hello" and quite a few more. (But let's just skip his co-writing credit on "We are the World", ok?)

(I'll add some Rhapsody links later, but c'mon, you know at least half of those songs, right? Sorry if I gave you an earworm infection....)

Check this out:
1987 saw Richie's nine-year streak of writing at least one number one single (a feat matched only by Irving Berlin) come to an end.
Now, granted, some of these songs may not be my cup of tea, but you won't catch me saying that Lionel doesn't know how to be creative. And you can make pedantic arguments that creating a #1 single is not a creative exercise but I'll sit out on that particular lecture if anyone cares to make it.

Every once in a while Dave gets snarky for no visible reason and behaves in a manner inconsistent with (what may be just my view of) his better nature. I guess this was one of those times.

Of course, my glass house is stone-proof.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A few musicians to check out

I'll have to go back and add Rhapsody links later. Tracy Grammer (Hey Ho), Stephen St. Clair (Stupid Game). And of course Haiku D'etat (Mike Aaron and Eddy).

Friday, May 20, 2005

Spamalot! (rhapsody link) - yes, it's true, Rhapsody has the soundtrack from the Eric Idle Broadway musical adaptation of Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail. Thanks for the tip Ryan!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

From Aaron Swartz: articles: the finest of the short nonfiction form (Aaron Swartz: The Weblog)

Aaron describes it:
I love magazine articles. When done well, they combine elegant writing with a compelling story and educational conent. However, it’s impossible to subscribe to every magazine and there’s no easy way to find the best of the lot.

For the past four months I have been posting my favorite magazine articles to a new website. When the articles aren’t available online, I’ve scanned them in and OCRed them. When they’re not available for free, I’ve made a copy available. (And, naturally, all items are archived in case of linkrot.) The result is a wide-ranging collection of excellent writing, ranging from how textbooks are made to interviews with men from the Rwandan genocide.

The site is articles: the finest of the short nonfiction form (Atom, RSS 2.0). I’ll continue posting articles as I find them but I hope that the majority will be submitted by readers like you. If you come across an especially wonderful magazine article (or already have), please tell me about it.

I hope you enjoy the site. I’d love your feedback. Tell your friends.
Attention.xml is a possible solution for a problem that I suffer from...

Developers Wiki - attention.xml
Attention.XML is an open standard, built on open source that helps you keep track of what you've read, what you're spending time on, and what you should be paying attention to.

Problem Statement
* How many sources of information must you keep up with?
* Tired of clicking the same link from a dozen different blogs?
* RSS readers collect updates, but with so many unread items, how do you know which to read first?
Attention.XML is designed to to solve these problems and enable a whole new class of blog and feed related applications.
MusicBrainz: AboutMusicBrainz

MusicBrainz is a user-maintained community music metadatabase. Music metadata is information such as the ArtistName, the AlbumTitle, and the list of tracks that appear on an album. MusicBrainz collects this information about music and makes it available to the public so that music players can retrieve information about the music that is playing. For instance, most audio CDs do not contain the name of the artist, album, or a listing of the tracks. A music player can use the digital characteristics of an audio CD to look up the correct metadata and show it to the user during playback.

MusicBrainz also takes this concept one step further in applying it to digital audio files like MP3 files and Ogg Vorbis files. The metadata contained in these files is often incorrect or missing altogether. If this data is not present or correct, it makes it difficult for users to find the music they wish to play. Many MP3 lovers have a huge collection of MP3 files but often have a hard time finding the music to which they want to listen. The MusicBrainz solutions for this are the WindowsTagger, iEatBrainz, and the PicardTagger--Windows, MacOS X, and Python applications that use AcousticFingerprints (TRMs) to semi-automatically identify tracks in your music collection and then write consistent and accurate metadata to your music files

Sunday, April 17, 2005
Have I mentioned how great is? No? Well, it's great.

What is it? I'll let them explain.

» is a social bookmarks manager. It allows you to easily add web pages you like to your personal collection of links, to categorize those sites with keywords, and to share your collection not only among your own browsers and machines, but also with others.

» Once you've registered for the service, you add a simple bookmarklet to your browser. When you find a web page you'd like to add to your list, you simply select the bookmarklet, and you'll be asked for information about the page. You can add descriptive terms to group similar links together and add notes for yourself or for others.

» You can access your list of links from any web browser. Your links are shown to you with those you've added most recently at the top. In addition to viewing by date, you can also view all links with a specific keywords (you define your own keywords as you add the links), or search your links for keywords.

» What makes a social system is its ability to let you see the links that others have collected, as well as showing you who else has bookmarked a specific site. You can also view the links collected by others, and subscribe to the links of people whose lists you find interesting.
Here's my bookmarks. So far I use it primarily while doing late night research at home on one of my many computers (which are OS X, Linux, and WinXP), so I can later access the good stuff I find when I'm at work on one of my company's many computers (almost entirely Windows).
200 new features in Mac OS X 10.4

The new version of Mac OS X, 10.4 (codename Tiger) will be released Friday April 29. (Expect long midnight lines at Apple stores everywhere.) What's new? Check the link.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

This is way cool! From BoingBoing....

NIN's Trent Reznor releases song as GarageBand file
Xeni Jardin:
On, Trent Reznor is offering a complete mix of a song from the forthcoming Nine Inch Nails album as a Garageband 2.0 file. The CD/vinyl is due out on May 3. Snip from the README:

"For quite some time I've been interested in the idea of allowing you the ability to tinker around with my tracks - to create remixes, experiment, embellish or destroy what's there. I tried a few years ago to do this in shockwave with very limited results. After spending some quality time sitting in hotel rooms on a press tour, it dawned on me that the technology now exists and is already in the hands of some of you. I got to work experimenting and came up with something I think you'll enjoy. What I'm giving you in this file is the actual multi-track audio session for "the hand that feeds" in GarageBand format. This is the entire thing bounced over from the actual Pro Tools session we recorded it into. I imported and converted the tracks into AppleLoop format so the size would be reasonable and the tempo flexible."

Link to, and link to 70MB *.sit download (Thanks, Mike) [Boing Boing]
For some reason, it's taken me almost a year to encounter GapingVoid's "How To Be Creative". Lots of this stuff resonates. Here's a sample:
28. Power is never given. Power is taken.

People who are "ready" give off a different vibe than people who aren't. Animals can smell fear; maybe that's it.

The minute you become ready is the the minute you stop dreaming. Suddenly it's no longer about "becoming". Suddenly it's about "doing".

You don't get the dream job because you walk into the editor's office for the first time and go, "Hi, I would really love to be a sports writer one day, please."

You get the job because you walk into the editor's office and go, "Hi, I'm the best frickin' sports writer on the planet." And somehow the editor can tell you aren't lying, either.

You didn't go in there, asking the editor to give you power. You went in there and politely informed the editor that you already have the power. That's what being "ready" means. That's what "taking power" means.

Not needing anything from another person in order to be the best in the world.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Ah, Maria McKee... RHAPSODY Link.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Happy Birthday Ryan! Here's a shiny new blog just for you!
Sascha wrote a very good piece on framing Terry by way of a book by George Lakoff.
Here is another way to make a link to Steven Brust. (He's so great, he deserves two.)
Look, here's a link to Steven Brust.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Hot Hot Heat "Get in or get out" - RHAPSODY Link - reminds me of seeing Madness at The Firehouse. Or was it some other band some other place?

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Jayhawks "Crowded In The Wings" (RHAPSODY Link) is one of 10 absolutely perfect songs on an absolutely perfect album, Hollywood Town Hall.
John the Revelator - RHAPSODY Link Not what most people expect when they think of John Mellencamp.

For those of you who don't know me - which is presumably almost everyone in the world and no one reading this blog - if you were to ask me "who's your favorite musician?" and only let me answer with one person or group, I've gotta go with John. And for the record, Uh-huh may be one of the best records ever made. (Yeah, I could tell you about Sgt Pepper and all the usual suspects, but what's the point of telling you about those? You already know.)

Arg! I just noticed Rhapsody doesn't have the closing song on Uh-huh, Golden Gates! Oh, that's just wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. You HAVE to close the album with that song. Well, you know how to find it....